Pope Francis says the Bible is "a highly dangerous book" due to the fact that so many people in the world are arrested or murdered for owning one.
In a prologue that is part of a youth Bible slated for publication this week, the pontiff wrote about the dangers of having a Bible, according to the Catholic publication Aleteia.
"There are more persecuted Christians in the world today than in the early days of the Church. And why are they persecuted? They are persecuted because they wear a cross and bear witness to Jesus. They are convicted because they own a Bible," wrote Francis. more >>
It seems to be a Catch-22. If your congregation is older, the way to reach younger families is to have younger families in your church. But the reason the congregation is older is because it has few or no younger families.
I have seen this played out on numerous occasions. A young family visits a church. They notice there are only older adults in the worship services. The young family decides not to return as they surmise there are few opportunities for younger adults and their children.
Hear me clearly. I am not suggesting there is anything inherently wrong with a congregation of senior adults. But I have been asked on numerous occasions how these churches can possibly reach younger families. more >>
Christian evangelist Rochunga Pudaite, founder of Bibles For The World, died at a hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday at the age of 87, it has been reported. Pudaite, known as "God's tribesman," is credited with bringing the Bible to millions of people throughout the world due to his evangelistic efforts.
"Dr. Ro was an inspiration to millions, and his life story and ministry work demonstrate how much one Christian can do when directed by the Lord," said Jeff McLinden, vice president of Bibles For The World.
"Because of his efforts, millions of people around the world have been introduced to the message of the Bible, and they understand what it means to be true followers of Christ. Dr. Pudaite will be greatly missed." more >>
WASHINGTON — Christian ethicist Russell Moore has said that congregations too afraid of being political to speak out against acts of immorality, like abortion, are similar to churches in the 1800s that remained silent on the issue of slavery.
As the featured speaker at the Institute on Religion and Democracy's fifth annual Diane Knippers memorial lecture, Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, criticized mainstream Christian congregations that have relaxed their teachings on key issues of sexual morality and other social issues in order to blend in with the "ambient culture" and appeal to today's society.
Moore explained that religious conservatives need to "preserve" the biblical truth for future generations. Although secular society likes to claim that Christian conservatives are on the "wrong side of history," Moore told the audience that Christian conservatives should not be afraid to have their biblical convictions conflict with mainstream society and that they should really embrace the distinctive Christian message. more >>
In many circles, the church bulletin or worship folder is perceived to be old school, the tool of staid and traditional churches. Leaders with such a perspective are missing an incredible opportunity to put something in the hands of guests that, at least anecdotally, increases the chances they will return.
It is for that reason that I see the church bulletin to be first for guests. While church members can benefit from it, the most effective use comes from those who are new to your church.
I thus note nine essentials for church bulletin with the guest in mind. more >>
The Episcopal Church continues to experience losses in both church attendance and membership, according to recently released numbers from the denomination's Office of the General Convention.
From 2013 to 2014, active baptized members in domestic dioceses went from 1.866 million to 1.817 million, representing a loss of nearly 50,000 members.